FREMONT, Neb. – A pair of game 1 go-ahead extra base hits from freshman Shelby Schacher were not quite enough in a GPAC doubleheader at Midland that resulted in a pair of losses for the Concordia University softball team in Fremont, Neb., on Tuesday evening. The Bulldogs dropped a wild 10-9, eight-inning affair in game 1 prior to a 7-0 shutout loss in the night cap.
First-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad has fallen in four-straight conference games and now sits at 19-18 overall and 6-8 in league play (eighth place).
Concordia can take some solace in the mettle it showed to fight back and take a lead after facing a 5-0 game 1 deficit against Warrior ace pitcher Sammy Hislop.
“One of the positives is that we got down against one of the best pitchers in the GPAC and I felt we hit her pretty hard,” LaVelle said. “We had a lot of hits in that first game and she’s really shut down a lot of teams.
“It’s definitely a tough loss. We have to rebound and try to finish off the season strong. I think once you get to the conference tournament, anyone can win the GPAC.”
Schacher vaulted the Bulldogs into a 6-5 lead with a grand slam with one out in the top of the sixth, completing the rally from five runs down. Concordia set the table with back-to-back walks and then singles by Julia Tyree and Jordana Goncalves to begin the frame.
After Midland’s Liz Spooner tied the game, 6-6, with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, the Bulldogs busted loose with three runs in the top of the eighth. Schacher delivered an RBI double and freshman Autumn Owens belted a two-run double two batters later.
However, starting pitcher Michaela Woodward allowed the first four Warrior hitters in the eighth to reach and Nicole Andrews eventually provided the walk-off two-run single with one out. It was Concordia’s fourth GPAC loss of the season by two runs or less.
Goncalves started in the circle in game 2 and took the loss while allowing seven runs on eight hits and eight walks. She fanned seven Warriors.
Midland (18-19, 10-6 GPAC) struck for three first-inning runs in game 2 and then added three more insurance runs in the sixth in building a comfortable 7-0 margin. Both Andrews and Spooner drove in three runs in game 2. In the circle, Sarah Leimser fired a four-hit shutout for the victors.
Schacher led the Bulldog offensive attack (13 total hits on the night) with her 2-for-5, five-RBI effort in game 1. Owens enjoyed a 3-for-6 day at the plate.
The Bulldogs return home to host for the final time during the 2015 regular season when Mount Marty (10-21, 3-13 GPAC) visits Plum Creek Park for a doubleheader on Wednesday (April 22). Concordia will recognize its five seniors between games. Free hot dogs, brats, chips and water will be served to fans in attendance. In return, the softball program encourages fans to donate to a family that lost a member due to cancer.